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This lesson on Immigration involves a “Journey Through Ellis Island”


Computers & Internet, Social Studies  


3, 4  

Title – Putting the Pieces Together – A Journey Through Ellis Island
By – Amanda Thompson
Subject – Social Studies, Computers & Internet
Grade Level – 3rd/4th

Objectives: Students will:
Work in groups to create sections of a giant puzzle detailing an
Immigrant’s journey to America through Ellis Island


Vocabulary: Ellis Island: A station in New York where immigrants passed
through to “check in” to America
Immigrant : A Person who leaves his/her homeland to live in
another country.

Materials: 1 sheet of plain Poster Board (for assembling finished puzzle)
1 sheet of poster board cut into puzzle pieces, each with questions
Crayons, Markers, and Pencils (for each group)
World Map with Ellis Island’s Location and Lodz and Gdansk, Poland
Vocabulary Posters

Teacher Preparation:

Print out two copies of the “A Boy’s Journey,” One copy is for you to read from, the other is for each group to use.

On poster board, draw a puzzle…one piece for each section of Seymour’s story. Cut the puzzle out and write questions about each section (chapter) of the story on the puzzle pieces. Make sure to leave room for student drawings and answers.

***Optional: print out, copy, or obtain books on other information that will correspond to each section of the story. For example, with the section entitled “Crossing the Atlantic,” you could put down pictures of or accounts of the boat journey to America for Ellis Island immigrants.


Introduce Lesson to Students:

“Today, we are going to learn about another group of people. These people are called immigrants (point to vocabulary poster). Immigrants are people who leave their homeland to live in another country. Between the years of 1880-1920, thousands of Immigrants came from all over Europe and Asia to America (point out on map). They traveled across the Atlantic Ocean (point out on map) and came through Ellis Island, a station in New York where Immigrants ‘checked-in’ to America (point to on map).”

First, read the story of Seymour Rechtzeit to the students
from the website listed at the end of the lesson. As you read, point out locations mentioned on the map.

Break the class into groups. Each group will be learning about a different section of the journey to America. Give each group a copy of a printout of each chapter of Seymour’s story. You may also include other information or immigrant stories that go along with each section.

The goal of the lesson is to make a giant poster detailing the journey to America. Each group will be given a section of the puzzle to complete. Groups use their part of the story and the information they have to answer the questions on the puzzle piece. They should also draw lots of pictures on the puzzle piece to show what your section of the journey was like.

I will show student an example of one of the puzzle pieces, which will have questions answered and pictures drawn on it

Each group will make their puzzle piece. Then, assemble the puzzle as a class and review the journey to America. Each group can do a short presentation explaining their section.

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